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  #1  
Old 12-16-2009, 05:19 PM
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Steering box adjustment

Is there an adjustment on the steering box of a 1995 E300 to tighten up the steering play? I know the 123 has one. My steering wheel has at least one inch of free play, and the car is wandering all over the road.
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2009, 06:53 PM
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I am sure there is unless it is rack and pinion, then I don't know.
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  #3  
Old 12-16-2009, 07:39 PM
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There is, an allen/hex key adjustment under the heat shield on top of the steering box. There's other posts that describe the correct way to do it, I'd try and make sure you have no excess play in your other steering components before you adjust the box. 1" (250mm) of play is ok (according to MB) on the 124 if I remember rightly.

My car was starting to wander recently until I replaced the ball joints and a track rod and now the front end is tight again.
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Last edited by chazola; 12-16-2009 at 07:44 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-17-2009, 12:33 PM
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Wandering is a tracking issue, even if there is play in the gearbox the car should still track straight. This is a commom problem after gearbox replacement with no alignment along with steering not wanting to return to center after a turn. How are you "checking" the play? If you are moving the steering wheel and watching the tires move an inch or more (most likley 1 1/5") is normal, you are moving the reaction valve inside the gearbox before the tires move.
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  #5  
Old 12-17-2009, 06:45 PM
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Never, never adjust the gearbox until you make absolutely sure all the rest of the system is up to par. That should never need adjustment unless it was defective in the first place, and tightening it can cause major problems like a locked up steering system, bearing failure, failure to return to center, and very stiff steering.
Mine had a bad center link when I got it, combined with bad strut rod bushings. It would wander all over the place even after I replaced the center link. I suggest you get under the car and start moving steering and suspension components around to see what's loose.
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2009, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4_Welder View Post
Never, never adjust the gearbox until you make absolutely sure all the rest of the system is up to par. That should never need adjustment unless it was defective in the first place, and tightening it can cause major problems like a locked up steering system, bearing failure, failure to return to center, and very stiff steering.
Mine had a bad center link when I got it, combined with bad strut rod bushings. It would wander all over the place even after I replaced the center link. I suggest you get under the car and start moving steering and suspension components around to see what's loose.
I'm sorry to disagree but it should be adjustable. It is designed to be adjusted. Checking for loose other parts is good advice though. No harm can come from adjusting the box before replacing other parts though.
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Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins& six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I am finishing a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual....I also have a Lotus 7 replica autocrosser with a modified K20 Acura engine.
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  #7  
Old 12-17-2009, 10:07 PM
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Lots of harm can be done. Believe me, I have seen it, I have seen accidents caused by it. The adjustment is for initial setup only, maybe if you have 40 million miles on your car it might have worn enough to have slop, but I can guarantee it's only worn in the center range of the worm, and if you adjust it to that then go beyond that area the steering can very easily lock, or if you adjusted the slop out completely then it could crack the worm gear or even the case.
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:40 PM
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I had a good suspension on my 83, but tried to take some play out by tightening my steering box. Worked fine, but I found it quickly wore and the on the road control and feel got worse after that. IMO, you should not adjust. Get a good/rebuilt steering box if you need one. +1 to verifying suspension first...
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2009, 12:00 AM
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Sorry but you guys just don't know about this. I have owned a lot of benzes and most with a lot of miles. I have adjusted most of them never with any bad side effects.

My dd has over 300K on the chassis and I have adjusted the steering gearbox more than once. It is currently nice and tight....just right.
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Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins& six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I am finishing a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual....I also have a Lotus 7 replica autocrosser with a modified K20 Acura engine.
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2009, 01:05 PM
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Hi guys. My name is Chris Brown I own C & M Hydraulics, all we do is remanufacture MBZ power steering gearboxes, p/s pumps and air (smog) pumps with electro-magnetic clutches. We have been is business since 1994. I my opinon, 4x4 Welder and t walgamuth, your both right to degree. The pitman shaft adjustment is one of four things that will affect play, three can be adjusted. If the worm gear is worn the box is trash. The pitman shaft adjustment is mainly there for intial setup, it is the slight differences in the machining of the cases that cause the lenth of the stud (past the jam nut) to be different from box to box. If adjusted correctly nothing wrong with doing it, many times it won't affect the play. In my twelve years of general repair of MBZ's on 123's we did it for free, did not think it helped much, customer's were never happy. If adjusted incorrectly (too tight) the steering will bind and not return to center. Many things cause play, mis-installed gearbox is very common. If the box is not installed right and the car is aligned to get the steering wheel straght so the turn signals cancel properly, the box is not centered when going straght. There is only the least amount of play at center, off center play. If anyone has any questions feel free to call. 702.734.8090

Chris
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  #11  
Old 12-18-2009, 02:25 PM
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There is another way to adjust other than the one on top?
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Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins& six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I am finishing a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual....I also have a Lotus 7 replica autocrosser with a modified K20 Acura engine.
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  #12  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:02 PM
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Yes, one is the pre-load for the bearings in the bearing cap assembly. The big jam nut at the input shaft. The other is the pre-load for the bearings in the piston assembly inside the box. If the pre-load or friction is not correct, too little or none - play, too much - steering won't return correctly or will not get proper assist.
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  #13  
Old 12-18-2009, 05:02 PM
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Thanks for the replies, I was asking because I just had the right inner and outer tie rods changed by my mechanic and it still wanders all over the road. He said the steering box was next to change. I really dont want to spring for the money for a box if it could be adjusted first to try. The car has over 220,000 miles so it may be possible it's worn out. I was trying to not spend any more money on this car.
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  #14  
Old 12-18-2009, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racekar View Post
Is there an adjustment on the steering box of a 1995 E300 to tighten up the steering play? I know the 123 has one. My steering wheel has at least one inch of free play, and the car is wandering all over the road.
you know now that your steering box is shot you should look into getting a w124 sportline or 500e500 steering box. you can get an extra half turn out of it. it's be kool if you ever wanted to turn your e300 into racekar
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  #15  
Old 12-18-2009, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racekar View Post
Thanks for the replies, I was asking because I just had the right inner and outer tie rods changed by my mechanic and it still wanders all over the road. He said the steering box was next to change. I really dont want to spring for the money for a box if it could be adjusted first to try. The car has over 220,000 miles so it may be possible it's worn out. I was trying to not spend any more money on this car.
It is most unlikely that your steering box is worn out.
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Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins& six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I am finishing a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual....I also have a Lotus 7 replica autocrosser with a modified K20 Acura engine.
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